Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Thursday, November 12, 2009's Aaron Ziemer: Weekly NSIC Column Columnists Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference

Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference

November 10th, 2009
There is just one game this week involving a Northern Sun team, and its Hillsdale at Minnesota State University in the first round of the Super Region 3 Playoffs.

Hillsdale (9-2) at Minnesota State University (10-1)
For the Mavericks, it is the first ever playoff game at Blakeslee Stadium in Mankato.
The Mavericks had a terrific season, and shouldn't let a disappoint loss last week at St. Cloud affect them. They finished the year at 10-1, and accomplished many things they can be proud of, as a team they set a new school record by intercepting 28-passes this season. In fact in the last two seasons they have intercepted 53-passes.

The problem last week was that they didn't force those turnovers against St. Cloud State. Derek Stripling and Mitch Watkins threw just one interception in the game against the Mavericks on Saturday, and the turnover bug bit Minnesota State in a big way, as they turned it over four times in that loss. That day, cost them the number one spot in the country on the season in turnover margin. It will be a key thing to watch this week as well for Minnesota State, and one of the reasons I'm concerned.

Hillsdale really hasn't turned it over much all season their quarterback Troy Weatherhead has thrown just six interceptions all season, and considering he threw 334 passes I think it's pretty safe to say he is cautious with the football.

To scout the Chargers a little bit they come in with a very balanced offensive team. Vinnie Panizzi has rushed for 1,306 yards on the season, while scoring 21-touchdowns. Weatherhead threw for 2,706 yards and 16-touchdowns. They have one of the top pro prospects in NCAA Division II Football in offensive lineman Jared Veldheer, who stands 6'9 321-pounds and ran a 4.8-40. 

Defensively they have a playmaking defensive lineman Drew Berube who recorded 13-sacks this season. As a team, the Chargers have won five straight coming into the playoffs, including a 27-24 win at home over Grand Valley State.

So they are a formidable opponent for the Mavericks.

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